This article charts the authors’ collaboration resulting from their partnership in the Leeds Creative Labs: Bragg Edition. The authors describe their motivations for working together and the conversations that developed as they discussed artificial life, synthetic matter, and shared terms from the humanities and sciences. They discuss how, after the project was delayed in 2020, they adapted to digital collaboration and secured funding for further outputs, mapping new possibilities for public engagement with materials sciences during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the authors consider the layering of biophysical research images with experimental poems that aim to convey complex yet complementary concepts from philosophy without distorting the underlying scientific data.

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